The Grand Academy

Another important event of this period is Beethoven’s grand " Academy " during which Symphony No. 9 and three movements of the Missa solemnis were first performed.

The " Academy " took place on May 7th 1824 at the Karntnertor Theater and it was repeated on May 23rd in the great hall of the Fort. The conductor was Umlauf; at the beginning of every part, Beethoven, who sat by the stage, gave the tempos. The success was smashing. Despite the obvious negligence of the interpreters who had been gathered in a rush, Beethoven’s compositions left a memorable impression on his audience. The soprano and alto parts were interpreted by two famous young singers: Henriette Sonntag and Caroline Unger.

After a disagreement with Count Palffy at the Theater an der Wien, and a compromise over the ban, the Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony are given their premieres at the Kärntnertor theatre. Beethoven stands next to Umlauf on the podium giving him the beat. At the end of the Ninth Symphony, the contralto Karoline Unger turns Beethoven round so he can hear the applause.